Lahijan: As a Tourist in My Hometown

Madi Jahangir – Some people have titled her “the sleeping beauty under the rain” because she is still beautiful when the sky is gray and rainy in the Fall, and snowy and gloomy in the winter. But to my eyes, Lahijan, this mountainous city laying peacefully on the Alborz foothills in northern Iran, has her better seasons too. I love it more when the sun shines in her humid summer and when her tea leaves turn to light green color in the spring.  Continue reading

Eid Al Fitr in Iran: Practicing Religious Harmony

Madi Jahangir * – Abyunaki people arrive from every corner of the village to a place close to the graveyard, Women in their typical white long scarf which has a colorful pattern of flowers and men in their very loose pants. In Abyaneh, Eid Al Fitr is a time to meet up after the Eid prayer, chat little bit and drink juice.  Continue reading

Tollab District in Mashhad: The Center of The World

Madi Jahangir – People from Tollab say: “Whether you are the worst or the best of the people, if you are from Tollab, you will become famous.” Tollab is an Arabic word and means students. Tollab district is one of the oldest and most famous districts in Mashhad, possibly founded by Ayatullah Haj Mirza Hossein Faqih Sabzevari for students of religious studies who used to reside in the city. Howevery,  many ordinary people started to move in and live there  later on. Continue reading

A glimpse on Iran’s private side: The Abbasian House in Kashan

Angela Corrias *– Before getting to beautiful Abyaneh, the guys of the Unified Ummah, the NGO that invited me to Iran, planned a stop in Kashan, ancient oasis city dating back to the 4th century BC that offers to visitors the priceless view of typical desert architecture. At about 228km away from Tehran, Kashan is a must-stop as it gives the great opportunity to take a peek on Iran’s private side by visiting a local house. Continue reading

International Iftar: Tasting the World Food in Tehran

Amene Hasanova* – The other day, i was invited for an Iftar ceremony held in Tarbiyat Modarres university for international students studying in Tehran. It is the first and last Ramadan that i am spending in Iran. I am from Tajikistan and we have so many traditions for the month of Ramadan. However, this Ramadan fell in summer time and most of my fellow Tajik citizens were back home. There is a famous dish in Tajikistan named Ashpolo which i would like to present in the international iftar table. But I was alone with another Tajik friend of mine and it was so diffucult to cook  in dormitory just the two of us and we could not find the related ingrediants to cook so much food. Instead i enjoyed alot the eye catching and mouth watering food from the rest of the world which were beautifully decorated on the tables.  Continue reading

Ramadan Feast: Breaking the Fast in Iran

Madi Jahangir * – Cooking Shami is tricky. You will have to make a hole in the corner before placing it in the frying pan. In order to make it puffy and fluffy, you will have to keep pouring the hot oil on its surface. I’ve learned this trick from my mother who’s learned from her mother as well and this tradition of cooking complicated Iranian food circulates in the family to the next possible generation through me. Continue reading

Golafarin: My First Homecoming to Iran

Golafarin Razi *- “Che ehsasi dari?” (What is your feeling right now?) my mother asked me. “Nothing.” I replied. We were standing aboard an Iran-Air flight, it was the summer of the year 2000. I was eighteen years old, arriving back in the country of my birth and ancestors after having left when I was just shy of five-years of age. I didn’t want to tell her how I was feeling. I couldn’t answer her question just then. I stared ahead steadfastly, and suddenly the doors opened. We were in the middle of Mehrabad airport, it was the pitch-black of night. I stood for a second and looked around before I made my way down the stairs. I didn’t know what to make of this place just yet, but here I was.  Continue reading

Barekendan: An Iranian-Armenian Festival of Fasting

Madi Jahangir – The big bowl of Ash on the breakfast table is a dish made of different herbs and beans. The breakfast table is decorated with Ash and other delicious food and fresh Iranian bread as colorful as possible. A night before the month of fasting begins, the family and relatives sit around such a table together regardless of their social class, wealth and position. They are all equal under the watchful eyes of God. They’ve started fasting a day before to celebrate start of the holy month. But no, this is not story of an Iranian muslim family. It is Barekendan, an old Armenian festival that Iranian Armenians celebrate it together with their Muslim fellow citizens.

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